Good photography, not fabulous, but this film shows you what the Alberta Tar Sands looks like. Reporters and photographers are no longer allowed at the Tar Sands, so this is the film to see if you want to take a look at the eco-devastation that is underway. Jennifer Baichwal (MANUFACTURED LANDSCAPES, WATERMARK) recommended this to me, since she was prevented from filming the Tar Sands.
Soundtrack by Gabriel Scotti and Vincent Hänni was amazing. The aerial shots reminded me of the opening of Blade Runner crossed with abstract painting showing the landscape changes from the mining. "In the year we call 1783 two brothers named Montgolfier flew the first passengers suspended in a hot air balloon: a sheep, a rooster and a duck." The occasional titles and end narration distracted from pure audio-visual.
A devastating view into a largely unrecognized environmental tragedy. The aerial perspective really gave me a powerful realization of just how big and absolutely real this is. As the film goes, I loved the music but really wasn't a fan of some of the digital editing and transitions. I would love to see a companion film that has more discussion and insight into everything that is going on here.
The landscape is beautiful, surreal, twisted and dystopian. But the craziest thing is that it is completely real. The cinematography and after effects capture the scope of the tar sands and brings out moments of sheer excellence from it. There are politics, but they are never preachy. The only moment of voice over is affected and cryptic, the perfect topper to the deep and rich film. Absolute brilliance.
The horror. Heart of darkness material. Cinematically it's crisp and the shots are well chosen, but its power is not in the film-making. It is critical documentation of the madness of today's society. This is our only energy choice? Looks like a penal colony on Mars. The images speak for themselves and there's probably enough toxicity there to poison all of Canada. Fukushima's twin.
Dumbfounded by 'photography not engaging enough' comments and the like. Not only is it incredibly engaging, albeit harrowing, but it seems the point may have been entirely missed by a few people. 'Sorry I just prefer my environmental damage to have a bit more pizazz...'
For a documentary 45min long with almost no commentaries I'd say this one's pretty fair. I was all the way struggling with myself: the imagery is quite mesmerizing with the accompanying soundscapes, but even though it's hypnotic we know this is real, we know this is happening all over the world. It's not beautiful. It's brutal. Tangible. And the question goes... what do we do now? How do we slow down? How do we stop?